An exclusive apartment building in New York had only one set of elevators, and there were growing complaints from the upscale tenants about the amount of time it took to get up and down in the building. Several engineers, consultants, and elevator specialists were called in to study the problem.
Lots of solutions were generated. Unfortunately, most dealt with adding more elevators, which in an old building was financially unfeasible. Some focused on trying to speed up the existing elevators with smart programming and so on, but this would still not increase the speed enough.
One of the tenants, who was in the television industry, heard about the attempts to solve the problem and put forward a solution of her own. Instead of messing around with the elevators, she simply suggested adding TVs around the elevator waiting area. She surmised the real problem wasn’t the time it took for the elevator to travel up or down the building, rather it was that people had time to think about the wasted time while they waited for the elevator to actually arrive at their floors.
Suddenly people waiting for the elevator could watch the news while they waited and catch up on the day’s events. Now that they had something interesting to do to pass the time, they actually thought the elevators had been sped up!
Sometimes the best solutions will come from outside your organization.
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